September 2, 2020

Episode #64: Grammy Winner B.J. Thomas on 50 Years of Hits and the Enduring Power of Raindrops

With over 70 million records sold, BJ Thomas is the artist behind classic hits like “Hooked on a Feeling”, Oscar-winner “Raindrops (Keep Falling on My Head)”, and (Hey Won’t You Play Another) Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song. With a total of Eight #1 hits, 26 top 10 singles, and 5 Grammy Awards, BJ was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2014. He has also been ranked by Billboard as one of the top 50 most played artists over the last 50 years.

What you will learn:

  • What the music scene was like in Houston in the 1950s and 60s, what BJ’s first musical influences were, how BJ found his way into the pop and soul music scene, performing with acts like Jame Brown. [00:00-08:45]
  • Why BJ focused on songs he connected with, what the collaborative process was like early in BJ’s career, and how he got his start musically in a high school band. [08:45-15:50]
  • How BJ achieved his first big break as a performer, how he overcame stage-fright, and how he found a renewed sense of health and fulfillment by learning to balance family and work life. [15:50-26:34]
  • What is was like performing at the Oscars, working with the iconic Burt Bacharach, coping with the talk-show circuit as an addict (including a shocking admission to Johnny Carson on a Tonight Show appearance), and why he took a break from interviews until he achieved sobriety. [26:34-36:52]
  • How BJ looks to inspirational performers like Tony Bennett while striving to live a life of longevity and maintain relevance after decades in the spotlight. [36:52-45:17]
  • What business mistakes he made, what he would do differently if he could do it all over again, and what BJ has learned from his mistakes; also, the drawback of digital music recording and streaming vs. traditional studio recording and record sales when it comes to artist collaboration and artist royalties. [45:17-58:20]

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